My relationship with peanut butter desserts has been growing. I am generally not a fan, usually choosing a plain chocolate dessert over the peanut butter-chocolate combo. Although since I’ve started blogging and making more of those high demand peanut butter desserts, I’ve really grown to enjoy them. I never thought I would see the day where I would be disappointed because a dessert didn’t have a strong enough peanut butter flavor. Well, the day has finally come.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite bakers- Dorie Greenspan. Her recipes are almost always fantastic, but these bars, although delicious, really lacked on the peanut butter flavor. I mean, it could just be because I am pregnant and my taste buds are off their game, but I seriously thought something was missing.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked the recipe and all. The bars were sweet, tender, and chewy. But I was expecting more of a peanut butter cookie type taste. Although! I did opt out of adding the peanuts. That right there could be my problem. I was making the bars to take to a party and I never take desserts with nuts, not only because of allergies, but mostly because a lot of people don’t like nuts. So truth be told I can’t really be a perfect judge when it comes to these bars because I didn’t follow the recipe to a “T”.
The other thing I wasn’t happy about, which a lot of other bloggers found with these bars, was the way that they baked up. They were super raised on the sides and then sunk right down in the middle, leaving the edge pieces shunned by many. Well, except for me that is!
I guess you’ll have to make them for yourself and let me know how your experience goes : )
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, optional
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ c. peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ c. sugar
- ¾ c. packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 c. coarsely chopped salted peanuts
- 6 oz. good-quality chocolate (I used a bittersweet dark chocolate)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-in. square baking pan with parchment paper. Chop the peanuts and chocolate, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugar and brown sugar and continue beating about 2 minutes, until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs, one at a time, beating for about 1 minute each. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and turn the mixer back on low speed. Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Dump the chopped peanuts and chocolate into the bowl, and mix on low speed just a few turns, until they’re evenly distributed through the dough.
- Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Bake until the top is golden brown, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the pan on a rack until it comes to room temperature.